Last November, the two provincially-run casinos of Winnipeg decided to start a pilot program that would run for a four month duration and see the two casinos open 24/7 during the weekends. The pilot program at McPhillips Station and Club Regent was quite successful and has led to the gaming venues being open for Good Friday and this Easter Sunday, for the very first time.
According to CBC Canada, the Director of Corporate Affairs for Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, Andrea Kowal, stated in an email that since the extended hours were introduced on the weekends, an increase in traffic at both casinos has continued. The extended hours were provided due to customer response and the idea has proven successful for each property.
Good Friday hours begin at 10 am and the two Winnipeg casinos will remain open until 3 am on Monday. According to Kowal, the Crown Corporation saw the need to be more flexible in how business is run. She stated that over the years, closure days for Manitoba businesses have diminished at a significant rate to give consumers more options, especially in the hospitality and entertainment industries.
Karen Hiebert of the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries spoke with Global News stating that the venues saw 200 to 300 people on the gaming floor at around 3 am and overall an uptick has been seen in player numbers. Fewer people are now observing the religious holidays as with previous generations and both gaming venues had no trouble finding employees to cover shifts. Time and a half wages are being provided to those who work during the holidays.